Abdominal Bruit Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Sound

Learn all about abdominal bruit definition, symptoms, causes, treatment and sound. Bruits occur in 4% to 20% of healthy persons. Abdominal bruits are more common in those younger than 40 years than in older persons. There is no evidence that abdominal aortic aneurysms are associated with abdominal bruits.

Bruits usually indicate accelerated blood flow velocity and turbulence at sites of stenosis. The finding of an abdominal bruit is nonspecific, and further testing is necessary to elucidate the cause. The most common cause, especially in patients with diabetes, is atherosclerotic narrowing that involves the renal, iliac, or mesenteric arteries. The differential diagnosis also includes aortic aneurysm, arteriovenous fistulae (traumatic or congenital), and abdominal tumors. Abdominal bruits have been reported in up to 25% of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.

Patients without hypertension should not have auscultation for asymptomatic renal artery bruits because bruits frequently are a normal finding. The search for renal artery stenosis should be confined to certain patient populations. When present in these populations, an abdominal bruit is the most useful physical examination finding for assessment of renal artery stenosis.

Abdominal aortic aneurysms can remain asymptomatic or produce minimal symptoms for years. However, a rapidly expanding abdominal aneurysm can cause sudden onset of severe, steady, and worsening middle abdominal and back or flank pain. Rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm can be catastrophic, even lethal, and is associated with abdominal distension, a pulsating abdominal mass, and shock due to massive blood loss. Once detected, an abdominal bruit often is characterized according to pitch, timing, amplitude, and location in an effort to detect and document pathologic states, such as, Reno vascular disease, splenic enlargement, hepatic cirrhosis, carcinoma of the pancreas and liver, splenic and hepatic vascular abnormalities, intestinal vascular insufficiency, and aortic disease. More recently, abdominal bruits have been documented.

Physical examination of the abdomen is a crucial tool in diagnosing diseases of the gastrointestinal tract; in addition, it can help identify pathological processes in cardiovascular, urinary, and other systems. As physical examination in general, the examination of the abdominal region is important for establishing physician-patient contact, for reaching the preliminary diagnosis and selecting subsequent laboratory and imaging tests, and determining the urgency of care.

Abdominal Bruit


What is Abdominal Bruit?

Bruits are “swishing” sounds heard over major arteries during systole or, less commonly, systole and diastole. The area over the aorta, both renal arteries and the iliac arteries should be examined carefully for bruits. When examining the abdomen the area over the aorta, both renal arteries, both iliac arteries and both femoral arteries should be examined carefully for bruits.

Abdominal Bruit Definition

An abdominal bruit is indicative of renal artery stenosis when blood pressure control remains unsatisfactory, in particular when the bruit is also heard during diastole.

Abdominal Bruit Symptoms

Signs and symptoms that are shown in abdominal bruits may include:

• A pulsating feeling near the navel
• Deep, constant pain in your abdomen or on the side of your abdomen
• Back pain
• Sudden, intense and persistent abdominal or back pain, which can be described as a tearing sensation
• Pain that radiates to your back or legs
• Sweatiness
• Clamminess
• Dizziness
• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Low blood pressure
• Fast pulse.

Abdominal Bruit Causes

Abdominal bruits can be associated to many other diseases but major causes of abdominal bruits are;
• Abdominal aortic aneurysm
• Anemia
• Arteriovenous fistula
• Atherosclerosis
• Cirrhosis
• Renal artery stenosis

Abdominal Bruit Treatment

Abdominal bruits treatment can be of different types. The options for treatment of your aneurysm will depend on a variety of factors, including location and size of the aneurysm, your age, and other existing conditions that may increase your risk of surgery or endovascular repair. Surgery options may include:

  • Open abdominal surgery. Open abdominal surgery to repair an abdominal aortic aneurysm involves removing the damaged section of the aorta and replacing it with a synthetic tube (graft), which is sewn into place. This procedure requires open abdominal surgery, and it will generally take you a month or more to fully recover.
  • Endovascular surgery. Endovascular surgery is a less invasive procedure used more frequently today to repair an aneurysm. Doctors attach a synthetic graft to the end of a thin tube (catheter) that’s inserted through an artery in your leg and threaded up into your aorta.

Abdominal Bruit Sound

Abdominal bruits sounds can be listened by stethoscope. When listening to the abdomen with stethoscope harsh sounds can, at times, be heard. These sounds are called bruits after the French term for noise. The abdominal bruits are caused by conversion of the arterial laminar flow to turbulent flow by the presence of atherosclerotic lesions in the blood vessels.

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